Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[foh] /foʊ/
a person who feels enmity, hatred, or malice toward another; enemy:
a bitter foe.
a military enemy; hostile army.
a person belonging to a hostile army or nation.
an opponent in a game or contest; adversary:
a political foe.
a person who is opposed in feeling, principle, etc., to something:
a foe to progress in civil rights.
a thing that is harmful to or destructive of something:
Sloth is the foe of health.
before 900; Middle English foo, Old English fāh hostile, gefāh enemy; cognate with Old High German gifēh at war. See feud1
1. See enemy. 1, 3–5. opponent, antagonist.
1–3. friend. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for foes
  • They team up to form coalitions to overthrow their foes, but they also reconcile after a fight.
  • Artists put the faces of his foes on the bottom of his shoes.
  • They have been praised and criticized, honored and ridiculed, by foes and fans.
  • With their large, sharp horns, bison are formidable foes.
  • He often appeared to target personal foes, a factor that later hindered his lyrical purity.
  • Built to withstand machine-gun and mortar attacks, it is beaten down now by more determined foes: age and weather.
  • The approach could be a metaphor for what it will take for humankind to stay ahead of its infectious foes.
  • Exactly how garlic works against such disparate foes, however, has proved somewhat difficult to understand.
  • Devils make formidable foes, but the cancer may be too much for them.
  • But new research indicates it's a bad idea to let even leashed dogs near their feathered foes.
British Dictionary definitions for foes


(formal or literary) another word for enemy
Word Origin
Old English fāh hostile; related to Old High German fēhan to hate, Old Norse feikn dreadful; see feud1


Friends of the Earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for foes



Old English gefa "foe, enemy, adversary in a blood feud" (the prefix denotes "mutuality"), from fah "at feud, hostile," from Proto-Germanic *fakhaz (cf. Old High German fehan "to hate," Gothic faih "deception"), probably from PIE root *peig- "evil-minded, treacherous, hostile" (cf. Sanskrit pisunah "malicious," picacah "demon;" Greek pikros "bitter;" Lithuanian piktas "wicked, angry," pekti "to blame"). Weaker sense of "adversary" is first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for foes


  1. Fraternal Order of Eagles
  2. Friends of the Earth
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for foe

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for foes

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with foes

Nearby words for foes